April 19, 2009
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AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 9 Texas Longhorns completed a three-game Big 12 Conference baseball series sweep of the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners with a travel curfew-shortened 8-5 win in eight innings at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, Texas (29-8, 12-6 Big 12) remained in first place in the conference standings. The Longhorns hold a one-game lead over Texas A&M who finished the weekend 11-7 in conference play. Texas is also 1.5 games ahead of Baylor whose game was washed out on Sunday and ends the weekend 10-7 in the Big 12.
The win was the 10th in a row overall for the Longhorns and the seventh consecutive win in Big 12 play. Texas has won 15 of its last 17 since suffering a three-game road sweep at the hands of Kansas on March 20-22.
Oklahoma (29-11, 8-7) drew first blood with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the second. With one out, Cameron Seitzer walked to spark the rally. After a strikeout, Tyler Ogle singled to centerfield and Chris Ellison singled to load the bases. The Longhorns appeared to be out of the inning when starter Brandon Workman induced a foul pop fly by Jamie Johnson, but the ball was dropped by third baseman Michael Torres to extend the inning. On the next pitch Johnson singled up the middle driving in a pair and the Sooners staked claim to 2-0 lead.
Texas took advantage of four walks to jump claim on the lead in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Brandon Belt singled through the left side and stole second base. Tant Shepherd and Cameron Rupp sandwiched walks around a Kevin Keyes strikeout to load the bases. With the harvest ready to be sowed, Kevin Lusson and Brandon Loy each drew walks to tie the game at 2-2. JR Robinson replaced OU starter Garrett Richards on the mound and yielded a two-run single to leftfield by Connor Rowe to give the Horns a 4-2 advantage.
Oklahoma circled the wagons in the fourth inning and responded with three runs. With one out, Ogle doubled to the gap in left centerfield Ellison deposited a two run home run near the Wendy’s sign in rightfield to tie the game at 4-4. Johnson chased Workman from the game with a single up the middle. Kaleb Herren singled off UT reliever Taylor Jungmann to put runners at the corners and a sacrifice fly by Bryant Hernandez gave the Sooners a 5-4 advantage.
Texas notched an equalizer in the home half of the fourth. Travis Tucker hit a leadoff ground-rule double down the rightfield line and Torres was hit by a pitch. Belt failed on a sacrifice bunt attempt, forcing Tucker at out at third, but Torres and Belt followed with a double steal and Keyes hit a sacrifice fly to plate Torres with the tying run.
The Longhorns knocked the wheels off the Sooners’ wagons with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Loy hit a leadoff single and Rowe reached on a poor fielder’s choice on a sacrifice bunt to put runners at first and second to lead off the inning. Tucker was unable to get a sacrifice bunt down to push runners to second and third, but Torres made amends for it with a triple to the gap in right centerfield to give Texas a 7-5 lead. The scoring was capped off when Belt plated Torres with a sacrifice fly.
Jungmann (4-2) earned the win with 4.1 innings of scoreless relief. He scattered five hits and struck out three. Austin Wood earned his 10th save of the season retiring the only batter he faced in the eighth inning. It was Wood’s 100th career appearance and he joined Randy Boone (106), J. Brent Cox (106) and Huston Street (105) as the only players in UT history to reach the century mark in games pitched. He also moved into a tie with Mike Hamer for fifth place on UT’s career save list with 18.
Chase Anderson (0-1) was saddled with the loss for Oklahoma. He allowed three runs on three hits and one walk while striking out one over 1.1 innings.
Rupp and Tucker led Texas offensively with two hits apiece. Torres and Rowe each drove in a pair. Belt improved his career-best hit streak to 14 games. Belt and Torres have gotten at least one hit in each of their last 10 Big 12 games.
Johnson paced Oklahoma at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run and two RBI. Ogle went 2-for-3 with two runs and Ellison went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI.
Texas and Oklahoma played in front of 14,844 fans on the two days, marking the largest two-day regular-season crowd in the history of UFCU Disch-Falk Field and third-largest overall two-day crowd at the facility.
The Longhorns return to action Tuesday when they host the No. 2 Rice Owls in a 6 p.m. contest at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.